MILWAUKEE (February 7, 2012) - Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) President and Chief Executive Officer Keith E. Wandell will assume the additional duties of Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Wandell was named Chairman by Board action.
“Keith is a transcendent leader who has done an outstanding job of guiding Harley-Davidson in a period of extraordinary challenge and transformation,” said Barry K. Allen, who has served as the Company’s non-executive Chairman since 2009.
“When Keith joined Harley-Davidson as CEO in 2009, the Board believed it essential for him to be able to devote his full energy to strategies to move the business forward, without the distraction of Board leadership responsibilities,” said Allen. “With the Company’s tremendous progress under Keith’s leadership over the last three years, the Board believes the time is right to recombine the roles of Chairman and CEO.”
Additionally, the Board named Richard I. Beattie as Lead Director. Beattie has been an outside director of Harley-Davidson since 1996. As Lead Director, Beattie will head the oversight and monitoring activities of the Board that would otherwise be performed by a non-executive Chairman.
Wandell joined Harley-Davidson in May 2009 as the Company’s first outside CEO since 1981. Beginning in fall 2009, the Company embarked on a major new strategy to focus exclusively on the Harley-Davidson brand and transform the Company’s approach to product development, manufacturing and the retail experience.
“I am grateful for the confidence the Board has placed in me, since I first came to Harley-Davidson, to work with everyone in this great organization to build a bright future for our company,” Wandell said. “On behalf of the directors and all our stakeholders, we express our deep gratitude to Barry for his Board leadership and we look forward to his continued guidance and contributions as a director.”
In other action, the Board approved a cash dividend of $0.155 per share for the first quarter of 2012. This represents a 24% increase over the Q4 2011 dividend ($.125) and a 55% increase over the Q1 2011 dividend ($.100). The dividend is payable March 2, 2012, to the holders of record of the Company's common stock on February 21, 2012.
Company background: Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. Harley-Davidson Financial Services provides wholesale and retail financing, insurance, extended service and other protection plans and credit card programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and riders in the U.S., Canada and select European countries. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.
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